NYS Testing

Standardized Testing: Friend or Foe

Posted on April 25, 2013. Filed under: NYS Testing |




The reviews are in, and the consensus among parents, students and teachers is that this year’s NYS/Pearson ELA exams were even worse than expected.  The tests were too long, the questions confusing, and many students ended up with sleepless nights, anxiety and tears.

Several of my graduates reported that passages in both 6th and 8th grade exams were taken straight from Pearson textbooks in the same grades. Was this a clever move of Pearson’s to persuade districts to buy their products? Clearly this gave some students an advantage over others.

My graduates also reported that several questions had more than one possible correct answer in the multiple choice. Many questions required the students to select the BEST answer, which can be time consuming when taking a timed exam. Another student stated that after 90 minutes of working on the exam students found little or no time left to write the essay which was worth the bulk of the points.

Many of the students complained of headaches, stomach aches, nausea, and vomiting. The only students who seemed to survive unscathed were those students whose parents refused testing, they were able to read quietly in the back of the room.

Lucy Calkins, Teachers College, has created a a site on which teachers,
principals and parents can converse about observations and insights
from having experienced the new ELA firsthand. The insights and information that is collected will be shared with test makers and
policy leaders. Professor Calkins encourage you to sign your name as anonymous as entries are far less trusted than those written by someone who is willing to ‘stand and be counted.’

You can read her entire letter and visit the site here. I hope your will leave me your thoughts here as well.

Some other interesting reads are:




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